Rafael Benitez hopes to replicate Liverpool success at Newcastle
Rafael Benitez is hoping he can bring the same success to Newcastle as he did to Liverpool to guarantee a lengthy stay.
The 56-year-old celebrates a year at St James' Park on Saturday, time has encompassed relegation from the Premier League and a subsequent charge back towards it, and while he may have started at a lower base than he did at Anfield, he has been struck by the similarity between the two clubs.
Asked if Newcastle is closer to Liverpool in terms of the reception he has had there compared to anywhere else he has worked, the former Valencia, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid boss said: "Yes, it's very similar in a lot of things.
"I was there [at Liverpool] six years and we won the Champions League in the first year and we played in the final of the Carling Cup at this time, so the adoration was growing and growing.
"After, we were in another final, so we had won four titles and three finals at Liverpool and semi-finals or whatever, so that was massive.
"But it's very similar, so hopefully we can do well and we will have the same number of years and trophies."
Benitez delighted Magpies supporters - and surprised many onlookers last summer - when he opted to remain on Tyneside in the wake of relegation, although there has been repeated speculation that he could yet be lured away with talk of multi-million offers from China rife in the last few weeks.
He has repeatedly refused to look any further ahead than the next game when asked about his future and in the short term, is concentrating only on guiding the club back into the Premier League.
His standing with Newcastle fans could hardly be higher, even if he does not always understand what they are saying, although that is not unusual after his time on Merseyside.
Benitez said: "I don't understand the Scousers when they talk fast, but I have an advantage, which is that I have been there for years.
"But also my daughter, the little one, she talks very fast with a Scouse accent and my friends are Scousers. I couldn't understand my daughter at the beginning when she would say, 'Give me my butty'. 'What? Oh sandwich, fine'. I didn't know.
"But when she talks quickly, after she says, 'Tell Daddy that I want to say this...'."